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Queen Emma and the Vikings: A History of Power, Love, and Greed in 11th-Century England [NOOK Book]

Overview

Emma, one of England's most remarkable queens, made her mark on a nation beset by Viking raiders at the end of the Dark Ages, a period often neglected by conventional history. At the center of a triangle of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all jostling for control of England, Emma was a political pawn who became a power broker and an unscrupulous manipulator. By birth a Norman, Emma spent the majority of her life on English soil. She was married to two kings of England and outlived both; she was twice driven ...
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Queen Emma and the Vikings: A History of Power, Love, and Greed in 11th-Century England

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Overview

Emma, one of England's most remarkable queens, made her mark on a nation beset by Viking raiders at the end of the Dark Ages, a period often neglected by conventional history. At the center of a triangle of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all jostling for control of England, Emma was a political pawn who became a power broker and an unscrupulous manipulator. By birth a Norman, Emma spent the majority of her life on English soil. She was married to two kings of England and outlived both; she was twice driven into exile; while mourning the untimely loss of one son, she was devastated by the murder of another; she saw two of her sons crowned; she was stripped of her powers when her eldest son became king; and she eventually retired from public life as a dowager queen whose land and wealth had been restored. Regarded by her contemporaries as a generous Christian patron, a regent admired by her subjects, and a Machiavellian mother, Emma was, above all, a survivor: hers was a life marked by dramatic reversals of fortune. Harriet O'Brien is a journalist based in London. She has written for the Independent and Condé Nast Traveler, among other publications. This is her second book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596918702
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 620,845
  • File size: 805 KB

Meet the Author

Harriet O'Brien is a writer and editor working in London for a range of newspapers and magazines including The Independent and Conde Nast Traveller. Her first book, Forgotton Land - a Rediscovery of Burma won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award in 1991.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Poorly Written

    I am only a few chapters into this book and, though it appears to be reasonably well-researched, I find reading it to be immensely annoying. The author constantly switches from past to present tense, without any apparent rhyme or reason. One moment "Emma was" and then "Emma is". If the author was striving for immediacy by using the present tense, she should have done so consistently throughout the book. The vaccillation between usages is jarring, and actually pulls the reader away from the subject while they try to adjust their point of view. I will continue to read the book for the information it holds, but I will not enjoy it as much as I should have done.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good, concise history!

    Quick Version A history of Emma, Norman wife of two kings of England (one Anglo-Saxon and one Dane), mother of two kings of England, and great-aunt of William the Conqueror. Long Version Emma is every historian's dream subject. Born into a position destined to make her a pawn in the power plays of the highest nobility, Emma had the intelligence and the cunning to rise to eminence in a world where women were undereducated and disregarded. Despite a length of less than three hundred pages, this book does an excellent job telling not only Emma's story, but the tale of the time in which she lived. This is a period of English history full of shifting politics and cultures. Alfred the Great had ruled shortly before, the apex of Anglo-Saxon England. Emma's first husband, the inept Aethelred led to its ruin. Cnut the Dane conquered England and in a stunning move married the popular and recently widowed Queen Emma. Following his demise, Emma held on long enough to put not just one, but two sons, one by Aethelred and one by Cnut, on to England's throne. In addition to the machinations of politics, Harriet O'Brien paints a vivid picture of life at all levels of society during Emma's lifespan, interspersing her portrait with useful tidbits such as which food items would not have been seen and when they were first cultivated in England. I finally learned the difference between mead and ale! I highly recommend this history to readers of Helen Hollick's historical fiction, The Forever Queen and its recently released sequel I am the Chosen King. It also stands on its own as a wonderfully readable account of the life and times of a woman too often overlooked in the annals of history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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